Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 268

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LYDGATE, FALL OF PRINCES
England, s. XVmed
ff. 1-158v: //This sciences were called liberal/ Only of fredam fraunchise & liberte…Of Intrusioun began first this quarelle/ Ageyn Romeyns when that he gan rebelle//
IMEV 1168. H. Bergen, ed., Lydgate’s Fall of Princes. EETS es 121-124 (London 1924); this manuscript described in 4:99-103. It lacks 10 quires and 17 bifolia with loss of the following verses: I.1-4256; I.4656-4914; I.5734-5992; II.1401-2450; II.2850-3108; III.1457-1715; IV.561-812; IV.3305-4066 and V.1-259; V.680-945; V.1492-1621; V.2138-2249; V.2509-2613; VI.1-126; VI.1485-2275; VIII.386-1148; VIII.1415-2191; VIII.2318-IX.3628. What was probably the second of the four quires missing at the beginning has been identified as London, Brit. Lib., Sloane 2452; see A. S. G. Edwards, “The Huntington Fall of Princes and Sloane 2452,” Manuscripta 16 (1972) 37-40; it contains I.1023-2100.
Parchment, ff. ii (paper) + 158 + ii (paper); 412 × 293 (301 × 195-198) mm. 4 quires missing at the beginning (of which the second is evidently Sloane 2452) 18(-4, 5) 28(-4, 5) 3-48 1 quire missing here 58(-4, 5) 6-78 88(-4, 5) 9-118 128(-4, 5) 13-148 1 quire missing here 158(-4, 5) 168(-2, 7) 178(-2, 7) 188 198(-2 through 7) 20-228 238(-2 through 7) 248(-2 through 7) 4 quires missing at the end. Catchword in a noting script in lower right margin of f. 20v; tops of letters are visible on ff. 146v and possibly on 154v. Signatures in lower right margin are an arabic 2 on ff. 141 and 142 (leaves 3 and 4 of quire 21), an arabic 4 on f. 155 (leaf 1 of quire 23), and an arabic 5 followed by a roman i on f. 157 (leaf 1 of quire 24); on f. 87 (leaf 1 of quire 13) in the lower left margin the top of a red paragraph mark. At the top of f. 38v (leaf 4 of quire 6) is “secundo quaterno” in a contemporary noting hand. 2 columns of 39 lines, with five spaced 7-line stanzas in each column, ruled in ink with top and bottom 2 lines full across; slash prick marks occasionally visible in upper and lower margins. Written in an anglicana formata script with several secretary forms. Fifty-six miniatures, the width of one column, but varying in height from 53-62 mm. (on ff. 3, 14, 17v, 27v) where they have taken the space of one stanza, or from 96-123 mm. (the largest on f. 112) where they occupy the space of two stanzas; enclosed by a narrow gold frame; a sequence of 5 miniatures (ff. 17v, 18, 19v, 23, 24v) is numbered 2-6 in contemporary arabic numerals, the last underlying the border decoration. The miniatures are closely related to those of London, Brit. Lib., Harley 2278, the probable dedication copy of Lydgate’s Lives of St. Edmund and Fremund presented to Henry VI in 1433; see K. L. Scott, “Lydgate’s Lives of Saints Edmund and Fremund: A Newly-Located Manuscript in Arundel Castle,” Viator 13 (1982) 335-66, especially p. 360, n. 80. List of miniatures based on Bergen, 4:101-02: f. 3, exile of Hippolytus; f. 8v, Narcissus at the well; f. 12v, Samson and Delilah; f. 14, women at their toilette; f. 15v, death of Polyxena; f. 17v, Canace writing her letter and committing suicide; f. 18, a monk (?) presenting a book to a man seated in a chair; f. 19v, death of Saul (retouched); f. 22v, Rehoboam on his throne; f. 24v, Christ with orb and palm standing within a mandorla on which are people of the various estates; f. 27v, death of Lucrece; f. 29v, Jehoash giving his answer to the messenger of Amazias and the story of the thistle; f. 33v, Candaules showing his wife to Gyges; f. 38, Romulus and Remus; f. 42, the crystal and golden temple of Rome; f. 43v, battle between Poverty and Fortune; f. 50, death of Lucrece; f. 57v, flight of Xerxes; f. 60v, murder of Artabanus by Artaxerxes; f. 63v, death of Virginia; f. 65v, exile and murder of Alcibiades; f. 69, Tantalus standing chin-deep in water; f. 70, death of Carthalo and of his father Machaeus; f. 71v, feast and death of Hanno; f. 72v, merchant being robbed of his gold, and a mining scene; f. 74v, fate of Theo, King of Egypt; f. 79v, a man writing; f. 81, Marcus Manlius being thrown into the Tiber; f. 85, hanging of Polycrates; f. 86, Callisthenes in prison given poison by Lysimachus; f. 88v, death of Alexander of Epirus at the river Acheron; f. 90, Darius taken prisoner by Alexander and being carried off, bound, in a cart; f. 93, battle scene on horseback; f. 95v, death of Olympias in a city square; f. 98, Agathocles in poverty and old age; f. 100v, murder of Bersane; f. 109v, falling idols in the temple robbed by Antiochus; f. 110, murder of the Scipios; f. 112, death of Hannibal; f. 114v, death of Alexander Balas; f. 116, slaying of Jugurtha; f. 122v, banishment of Metellus; f. 126, story of Caius Marius; f. 129, death of Mithridates by the sword of a Gallic knight; f. 132, death of Julius Caesar; f. 134v, death of Cicero; f. 139, death of Anthony ordered by the enthroned Octavian, as Cleopatra watches; f. 140v, death of Herod; f. 142v, Caligula, Tiberius and Messalina appearing before Boccaccio; f. 144v, death of Nero; f. 146v, the head of Galba offered at the sepulchre of Nero; f. 150v, destruction of Jerusalem; f. 153, Boccaccio and the apparition of Petrarch; f. 154v, Queen Zenobia in the triumph of Aurelian and in prison; f. 156, Peter and Paul appearing to a dying man, while women and children are led away; f. 158, death of Rufinus, while another man (?) is slain on board a ship. Sketches in the margins for the miniatures: f. 19v (very faint); f. 72v, of a pick and a shovel; f. 74v, part of a crown (?) below the painting of the initial; f. 81, of a hat or the top of a tower; f. 126, of 3 figures near a lectern (? not in the miniature) and of an ax; f. 140v, of 2 figures, generally similar to the miniature. Leaves with miniatures, beginning the chapters, with bracket borders in many styles: brightly colored acanthus leaves, geranium leaves, pears, pinecones, interlaced branches and gold motifs. Opening initials, usually 4-line (but possibly 5- to 2-line) in white highlighted pink or blue on gold grounds. The space of one stanza reserved for the strapwork initials of the rubric of each “Lenvoye”; some have been filled in, perhaps in a contemporary hand (e.g. ff. 43 and 79) and others may be later, such as the painted-gold and blue elaborate cadel initials of “Verba Lucrece” on f. 50v; on f. 49v, a scene of a jester attacking a lion. 2-line initials begin each envoy: in gold on blue and pink particolored grounds with sprays ending in green leaves and gold balls, or in blue with red pen flourishing. Paragraph marks also in 2 styles: in blue with red flourishing and in gold with brown (quires 1-9, 18), or in blue with red and gold with blue flourishing (all other quires). Cadel-like flourishes on the ascenders of some letters on the top line, especially fine on ff. 78v-79, in which the opening initials of the 4 stanzas depict a merman playing a horn and a mermaid nursing fish; a knight playing the bagpipes for another man; a man on his knees before a seated figure (woman? confessor?); a scroll with the legend “O Maria flos virg[inum].” Occasional flourishing on the descenders of letters on the bottom line. Corrections in ink (e.g., ff. 55v, 56, 67) and lead (e.g. ff. 146v, 148v, 151); “examinatus” in ink in the center of the lower margin, on ff. 42v (end of quire 6), 146v (end of quire 21), and 154v (end of quire 22). Two minute alphabets on f. 155. Numerous eighteenth and nineteenth century notes identify chapters and portions of text. Bound, s. XVIII, in English gold-tooled brown calf; rebacked, original spine laid down. The volume was resewn after coming to the Huntington, probably sometime in the 1930s, to restore the contents to their proper sequence; the quires had formerly been altered in order to bring a decorated leaf to the front to hide the defective beginning of the volume. Written in England in the middle of the fifteenth century. Three silver swans with gold crowns as collars (but no chains) in the border of f. 100v may be a badge of the first owner: the house of Bohun is known to have used this badge, as well as the Lancastrian royal line after the marriage of Henry IV to Mary de Bohun (1380); see A. R. Wagner, “The Swan Badge and the Swan Knight,” Archaeologia 97 (1959) 127-38 and plates. Possibly in the collection formed by James Sotheby in the seventeenth century. Armorial bookplate of C. W. H. Sotheby on the front pastedown; sale of Col. H. G. Sotheby, Sotheby’s, 24 July 1924, lot 24 with plate of f. 109v to A. S. W. Rosenbach. Precise source and date of acquisition by Henry E. Huntington unknown. Bibliography: De Ricci, 65. Aspects of Medieval England, n. 30 open at f. 96, and reproduction of f. 3 on the cover of the exhibition catalogue. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts (forthcoming).
Abbreviations
Aspects of Medieval England
Aspects of Medieval England: Manuscripts for Research in the Huntington Library, an Exhibition prepared for the Medieval Academy of America, 14 April 1972 [San Marino 1972]
De Ricci
S. De Ricci, with the assistance of W. H. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York 1935-37; index 1940)
EETS es
Early English Text Society extra series
IMEV
C. Brown and R. H. Robbins, Index of Middle English Verse (New York 1943) and Supplement by R. H. Robbins and J. L. Cutler (Lexington 1965)
Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts
K. L. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts (forthcoming vol. 6 in A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, ed. J. J. G. Alexander; London)

C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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